Play Maker
The Queen of Gay Romance”


This is my disclaimer for 2009 folks! As you know, I change them, so please read and smile!

This is a fictional character. I'll say that until I'm blue in the face and yet, someone will write to me and tell me I've got something wrong, or he/she is that character, or they're going to sue me because their client has a family member with that name.

I can put disclaimers on a story all day long and still, I get someone who is just about nuts who will do the above paragraph. It makes no sense to me, but apparently, there are people who take themselves so seriously they want to be a fictional character. Well to those of you who choose to be that way, go read someone else's story and be a fuck-tional character.

By the way, if you're reading this to jack off. I'll smile and you hold it in your hand and read until the end. If you've spilled a load, I bet it wasn't reading a scene here! Everyone else who knows my writing is probably laughing their asses off right about now...I know I'm chuckling!

If you can hold it in your hand and type, then please BY ALL MEANS write me an email and send a photo of it. I want to see the man's appendage which can write, type, and just plain want to know it better!

If your appendage says it's straight, get a clue and get to a different site. If you're that confused, go to your search engine and type in Mental Health Help and seek the one in your area. Your appendage has my permission to cut and paste.

Just to make it an official disclaimer, if you're above the age of 18...great. If you're 118, super great...put a napkin over the keyboard and you won't get any drool on it. If you're under the age of 18, please find the off switch on your computer and press it. It'll make your day and mine a lot brighter. If you come back to this site when it reboots, please repeat until you lose interest. If it takes more than once, get a clue you dumb fuck!

Notes From Retta:

This story is written mostly as a retro piece. I intentionally made sure some prices were lower and I made sure the older stars were used in the piece. You need to realize this was written in the era of Bush I (around 1991). I did it from memory, so sue me if it's not completely accurate.

Play Maker


Chapter Six:

The next morning, I was woke up by my cell phone. “Hello?”

Where the hell are you at?”

Oh, hi Chris.”

Don't 'Hi Chris' me, where are you at?”

I'm in bed and not going to school today. Did your parents tell you about what happened last night?”

No, I didn't see them this morning.”

My grandma got killed last night.”

Wha...Who did it!”

Some guys escaped from the prison and they came to the house. They killed grandma and tried to steal her car. I ran mine into it, so both of them are totaled.”


Yeah, so if you're late for school, I'm sorry.”

Dude, what are you going to do?”

I've got to go to the funeral home and prepare the services.”

No, I mean, who's going to raise you?”


Grant who?”

Grant Oberling.”

Who's that?”

He's got the gas station out at the edge of town.”

He's like loaded.”

Yeah, well Grandma asked him to do it and he said ok.”

You ok with that?”


Who else knows?”

The prosecuting attorney and quite a number of people. I mean, the police and everyone was there.”

No, I mean who knows Grant's going to raise you?”

A few people, why?”

Dude, you're going to be hanging out with rich people now.”

Nah, you aren't rich.”

I don't like that, where's his house?”

To be honest, he lives at that motel out there. He's going to move into grandma's so we'll live there.”

He doesn't have a mansion someplace?”


He should, he's loaded.”

He spends all his time at work or that gym out back. He said he doesn't need a house to do that.”

That must suck to have all that money and not have a mansion.”

No, he's a nice guy. By the way, you're invited to go out to the gym with me.”

Why are you going out there?”

To work out. I want to get to be his size.”

You do know he's the Spartan, right?”


I've heard he's gay.”


Does he have someone?”

Sorta. He just got with him last night.”


I can't say. I'm not sure if they want it out.”

Oh, ok, but you'll tell me when it's fine, right?”

Swear and stomp on toes if I don't.”

Cool, what else is new?”

Do you know Robbie Musselman?”


We gotta hang around him.”


It's a long story.”

Start telling me, and I'll get dressed why you're telling me.”

You mean to tell me you've been talking to me when you're naked?”

No, I've been talking to you when I've been eating breakfast.”

Dude, you eat breakfast naked?”

I eat waffles with syrup naked, otherwise I've got syrup all over me. You know that.”

Ok, I was worried a second there.”

You've seen it all.”

I know.”

So tell me why we've got to be nice to him.”

His dad and my dad were friends.”


Well, I told his dad we'd be nice to him.”

He's an asshole rich kid. Tell his dad to tie a steak around his neck and send him to the dog pound if he wants his kids to have friends. I'm sure Fido will bury a bone in his back yard. Or, is it that you want to bury the bone there?”

I don't know him. All I know is I told his dad we'd be nice to him.”

This sucks. How many other rich assholes we gotta be nice to?”

Aaron, but you know him.”

Aaron's pushing it. I think he's somewhat decent, but he's a real jerk when he wants to be.”

Well, them are the only ones except for who's at the gym. I don't want to have problems there.”

DO you think Grant could get me a job out there?”

Yeah, it's a done deal.”


Yeah, anytime you want, you have one there.”

That's way beyond cool. You know the cool guys work there, don't you?”

I heard that. I guess my dad was a cool guy. I never thought of it before now.”

It's interesting you're finding all this out. What's on your agenda today?”

I was supposed to went to school and then afterwards go out to Prather's junkyard to photograph my parent's car. We've got a lot of evidence in regards to that.”

Why can't you still do that?”

My car is kind of fucked.”

What happened to your car?”

I totaled it.”

Then drive your grandma's.”

I sort of totaled mine running into hers.”


The convicts were escaping in it. I was getting chased by cops, so I had to run into their car.”

You were getting chased by cops!”

Yeah, I told them the escapees were at our house and they were following.”

Oh, for a second there, I thought you'd went insane.”

No, that's tomorrow.”

No, you gotta promise me if you're ever getting chased by cops, you'll drive by my house. Ok?”

Dude, you live in a cul de sac, that'd be dumb. You'd not only get to see me getting chased, but drug out of my car and thrown the ground and drug off to jail.”

That'd be cool to watch.”

How about you do it then. I'll watch.”

Nah, you're the one who gets all the cool shit to do.”

Last night wasn't fun.”

How'd they kill her?”

A knife in the kitchen. Now, you've won the game of Clue so leave it be.”


No, I would've asked you, so that's fair.”

You're still going to live there anyways?”

Yeah, they cleaned the house.”

What about the kitchen?”

I'll go in there. Grandma's in a better place, so I'm not worried about it.”

I'm sorry to hear about her. She was nice to me.”

She probably had it done this way so you'd not ride in her car. You know that, right?”

He laughed, “What did they do when you ran into them.”

I couldn't tell. The air bag deployed. I know I floored it and pile drove it into that yard over there at that corner.”


Yeah, you know where the end of that fence is?”


That's where we ended up.”

That's like way cool.”

You need to get off here in order to go catch the bus.”

Ok, I'll come see you later, ok?”


Where are you now?”

Grant's parents house.”

Where do they live?”


That's like right up the street!”


Do you want me to come over there?”


Why not?”

I'm naked and sweating it's so hot in here. They have their house like a thousand degrees or something.”

Does it smell funny?”


Old people.”


Why do they do that?”

I don't know, but if I ever wear suspenders and a belt and a sweater and have it hotter than hell in my house, you just shoot me and put me out of the misery.”

Is the old dude hot like Grant?”

You turning gay?”

No, dumb fuck, but Grant's got a bod I'd love to have.”

He does that. We'll have them ourselves if we go and work out.”

I'd probably get wood.”


There's girls there.”



Good, maybe we'll get you laid if they don't think that little thing sticking up is a fly bite.”

Hey dumb ass, I'll have you know...”

I know, just checking to see if you were still with me.”

Have you been out there?”

Last night.”

What do you think of all the mirrors, kind of kinky, huh?”

I didn't think of it like that.”

Oh man, you've got no imagination. I can see me doing all sorts of stuff in those mirrors.”

I guess if you use Windex, you could wipe them off afterwards. Why not use your one in your bathroom?”

Dude it's way up in the air.”

Oh, I guess you're afraid of falling off the counter.”

He laughed, “No, to be honest, I've never thought about it. It'd be way cool though.”

You need to get to your bus stop. It's about time.”

Damn! I've gotta get dressed and everything.”

He hung up and I shut off the phone. I got up and put on my clothes. When I went out, it was like stepping into a furnace.

Good morning!”

Good morning Mr Oberling.”

Call me Bud.”

Ok, I'm still Jake.”

He smiled, “Your dad was still Jeff when I told him that at work.”

Do you still work there?”

No, I retired years ago. Grant now works there all the time.”

He loves the place.”

I did too, but what you need to do is get him to stop spending all his time there.”

I'll try, but I'll be at ball practice or other places.”

He got quiet for a second and then he said, “Jake, if he's not what you want, be gentle with him.”

What's that mean?”

He's looking at you like he did your dad. I know he loves you already.”


Don't but me son. I know that look. You feel it too.”

I do, but he's going to be getting with someone else.”

Damned dumb if you ask me.”

He thinks it's smarter.”

Smart is being with who loves you back...not going out and loving someone else who you haven't got it with.”

We've got to wait.”

He waited. Your dad died. Don't make the same mistake.”

We got told fourteen years and three months last night.”

Who came up with that?”

My dad.”


Sir, we talked to my dad quite a bit. That's what my dad said we'd have to wait in order to have each other.”

And you're falling for that?”

I tried getting him to do it sooner, but he wants to do it this way.”

Son, let me give you a clue about my son. Sometimes, you've got to grab the bull by the horns and make him see it's what he needs.”

You did that?”

I knew no one else wanted the station. They all left home and got as far away from it as they could. Grant showed interest, but he was too worried about what they all thought. I made him see it was what he needed and they didn't want. Now, it's his and he's done amazing things with it.”

He has done that.”

He looked down and said, “I hate to say it, but having kids does that to someone. I could have done a lot of things with the place, but didn't. Just as soon as he took it, he started expanding the place and now look what he's done. IF I'd kept it, it'd still be a little gas station and that's it.”


Bud, please.”

Bud, you raised a family running the place. Don't get yourself down over it. Look how much you gained by doing what you did?”

I'm happy for what I've got, but if I'd been as smart as him about it, we could've had more.”

Or, you could've lost your shirt. I think you did what you needed to do.”

I did.” He paused and said, “You need some breakfast.”

No, I have to go and see if I can get a car. Then, I've got to go to the funeral home and do all that.”

I'm supposed to take you there.”

What do you normally do on mornings?”

Same old thing day after day. I get up and watch the morning show and then, I watch Jerry Springer. After that, I watch Bob Barker and then, we watch that soap opera. After that, it's lunch with the noon news and then soap operas until Oprah.”

Sounds boring.”

It's either that or go up by the nursing home and give them some excitement thinking one got away.” He said smiling.

I laughed, “That's funny.”

My wife doesn't appreciate the humor in it, but I laughed.” he said with a bigger smile. “Just the same, I'll be happy to take you where you need to go.”

Will they need an accident report to get me another car?”

Probably. We'll have to go by the police station for that.”

I'll call them and see if they will have it ready.”

Son, let me call. I know the chief up there and he'll have it done for me on the house.”

They charge!”

Yeah, it's a pretty penny for them.”

I've never had an accident.”

Wait until you get old. Things jump out in front of you which you never had a clue was there.”


My insurance man's been real nice about it.”

What sort of things?”

They said I ran over a shopping cart and drug it down Morley. I never heard it. I would've said they were wrong, but Wal-Mart has cameras telling them otherwise.”

Must've not been bad.”

I can't say that. It tore the hell out of the car.”

How'd you not hear it?”

Ride with my wife sometime when she's singing Blessed Assurance and you'll know why.” he said smiling.

I smiled, “You sure you never heard?”

I swear. I told her I didn't want to disturb her lovely voice.”

That was smart.”

The telephone pole we hit coming out the drive way was a different story.”

Where's it at?”

Across the street over by the shrubs.”


I don't know. All I know is I got to coughing and the next thing you know, we're trying to climb a telephone pole.”

How bad did it mess up the car?”

The car wasn't bad until the cat hit the windshield.”

What'd the cat do?”

Got crushed by the telephone pole.”


Grant says I'm supposed to let you drive. I was wondering when you were going to suggest it.” he said with a smile.

I don't know, I was thinking my friend Chris could stand having an eventful ride to school. He thinks I ran from the cops and wrecked my car last night.”

Did you?”

Sort of, but I knew the cops were there.”

You should have came by.”

I laughed, “Chris said the same thing. The advantage you have is you don't live on a cul de sac like him.”

That would've been dumb.”

That's what I told him. I told him he would've gotten to see me not only drive by but get drug out of my car and thrown in the police car. He thought that sounded neat too.”

Nah, head for the city limits. They can't go there.”

Sounds like you've thought it out.”

A few times.”


Son, I was young and that gas station was out there on the city limits. The town cop had a old Hudson and we had a flat head Ford. I knew how to run the wheels off the thing and the cop got excited if he had to turn on his siren. By the time he got around to figuring out who I was, I was already pulling into the station and spraying it down with water.”


They come by and put their hand on the hood. If it's warm, they know it was you. If you cool it off, they know it wasn't you. IF you make it sudsy water, you can spray yourself and say it couldn't have been you because you've been washing your car.”

I smiled, “That's slick.”

Grant better still keep a bucket off by that ice machine full of sudsy water. IF he doesn't, you tell him it needs to be there.”

I'll check.”

We'll go out there and drag him away for lunch...just you and me.”


He stood up and asked, “You ready to go?”

I need to go get in the safe and get my things for the funeral home from it.”

Grant took that one envelope and said he's going to put it in the safe at the station.”

What'd he do that for?”

He said 'safe keeping' when I asked. He didn't look real healthy when he got done looking in it.”

He looked in it?”

Yeah, he kept looking at papers and going, “What the hell?”

I saw them, but all it looked like was diplomas to me.”

He's probably figuring out I'm richer than him.”

Are you?”

Most likely.”

Good going. He needs someone like that.”

He needs someone who will be around. I'm most likely going to be playing football on a team I buy.”

You have to be rich then.”

I was joking. Grant'll probably buy it so I get to do it.”

If he does, you play on the other team. That'll mess with him.” he said with a smile.

Ok, it's a deal.”

We got up and I went to the safe. I got the things for the funeral home and the insurance things for the cars. Bud brought his keys and we went out to the garage. Inside was a new sparkling Cadillac.

Nice car.”

He bought it for us. He keeps buying them for us.”

I'm surprised it's not a Ford.”

He'll insist upon a Ford because it's got our name on it, but don't think he doesn't have others.”

When we got in, I ground the starter starting it, it was so quiet.

Don't mind that, I 've done that a time or two.”

When we drove down the street, I turned the corner and saw where our cars ended up. I was staring and he said, “Someone sure got plowed here!”

This is where I wrecked my car.”

I'm surprised you weren't hurt.”

When we went into the police station, Bud went in with me. He called the police chief out and we got the accident report. The police chief said, “If you lose any money on the deal, let me know. Those guys will have to work that off before they get a decent wage in there.”

They get paid in there?”

Some of them do.”

Ok, I'll tell you what I'm out. I know it's going to be about twelve thousand dollars.”

How come so much?”

The car I hit was my grandma's. Both cars are totaled. I'll lose money on both of them.”

He nodded and said, “I wasn't aware. I'll get the paperwork done. See what they'll give you for them and we'll take it off the invoice of what they cost new.”

I've got that here. Would you like to see it?”

I'll copy it. That way I've got a copy already.”

He copied it and we went to the insurance office. We went in and the guy rolled his eyes, “Mr Oberling, please don't tell me you've had another accident.”

No, he's driving me.”

He looked at me and said, “You had the accident?”

Yes sir, but it wasn't Mr. Oberling's car.”


He looked at the accident report, “I see. She's one of my customers too.”

She's my grandma.”

How badly was she hurt?”

She's dead.”


Sir, she wasn't driving her car. She was killed by the escaped convicts who were driving her car. I ran into her car to keep them from getting away.”


The state is covering what the insurance company doesn't. If you pay zero, then they pay me for not only one car but both. If you pay some, the police chief will take it off the cost of both cars new. If you pay it all, then they don't pay anything.”

How soon do you need this handled?”

The police chief is waiting. I'd kind of like to know what I'm going to get so I can go get a car. Driving Mr Oberling's car is a bit unnerving.”


I whispered, “Sir, it's hotter than hell out and he insists on the heater on full blast with that stereo blasting the Gaither Brothers. I'd not mind one or the other if I could put a window down, but he says he forgot his sweater.”

He smiled, “The Gaither's are nice.”

Have you heard them when they're screaming it at you instead of a normal tone?”

No, I can't say I have.”

Delco Bose makes a great stereo system. I feel like I've been to a religious concert and sat by the speakers. Ok?”

He laughed, “Mr Oberling is a nice guy.”

He's great, but if their house burns down, you figure he's just warm enough.”

It's that bad?”

I slept there last night buck naked and sweat. All I need is someone to throw water on some stones and I'm feeling like I've been to a spa.”

He smiled, “I'll have to go by there some time.”

Wear sun screen.”

He looked on the computer. “Your grandmother paid for the right coverage. Your cars are covered. Go get yourself a car and we'll take it up with the state.”

I'm wanting to get a car like she had previously.”

An old Corvette?”

No, a new one which will be old some day.”

Which kind?”

They make more than one Corvette?”

They've got several models. Look here and you'll see.”

I looked and beside it, I saw the premiums. “Ummm, I'll take that one in a Convertible.”

Oh, a convertible is going to be over here.”

He flipped the screen over on his computer and said, “Here it is.”

Jeesh, that much!”

They're not cheap. Someone your age driving is expensive.”

What about putting it on Grant's policy?”

Grant Oberling?”

Yeah, he's going to be my guardian.”

Oh, why didn't you say so!”

He pulled up another quote and said, “That's with an employee discount and on his account.”

Why's it so low?”

He insures heavily with us.”

Oh, well, it's sure good to see it's affordable.”

He smiled, “Your grandma had life insurance policies with us. Do you want me to get to going on those?”

Yeah, you might as well.”

Are you going to the funeral home?”

When they open. We'll go to the car dealership and get the car and then, we'll go there. Afterwards, we're going to get Grant for lunch and then, we'll be through, I hope.”

When you get out to the car dealership, you tell them to give me a call and I'll tell them you're covered. IF you're taking the money from both cars and putting it into a new Corvette convertible, you should be fine.”

Would you know if grandma had other policies besides these?”

I wouldn't know.”

I've not gotten that far in my envelopes. I appreciate you getting a head start on them for me.”

Those take a month to get.”


What I'll tell you is this. They're going to mess with you on it. They do that.”


They like to get the interest on the money. When you have them dealt with, you give me a call and I'll tell them they're jeopardizing a lot of my accounts and you're insisting having it direct deposited into your account soon.”

They do that to everyone?”

Quite often.”

That doesn't seem right.”

No, and what they don't realize is a funeral home will charge interest on the funeral if it's not a prepaid burial.”

It is.”

Good, your grandma was a smart shopper.”

She was. It's a shame it went that way.”

I'm seeing you have a policy on your life. Do you want that put into Grant's also?”

How much does it cost until I'm 18?”

I'll figure it up for you.”

Take that total from the extra money I've got on the cars.”

There's going to be extra left over.”

I realize that. What you should do is take that total from the amount left over on the cars and then, what I'll do is prepay the next fifty years from what money I get on the life insurance. That way, I've been covered until I'm old and the interest on that amount should get me covered if I grow older than that.”

He nodded and said, “Normally, we don't do it that way, but you're going to have a sizable amount of money coming in.”

How much?”

I'm seeing three policies here for ....”

He showed me, I saw and said, “Man!”

Your grandma was well insured. She told me she wanted it to be sure you were well taken care of if she didn't live past your 18th birthday. She was worried about you being able to afford whatever school you chose to attend later.”

She knew I was thinking about college?”

It appears so.”

I was thinking I wasn't going to have that much money to attend.”

You've got quite a bit.”

Well, I appreciate it.”

He shook my hand and we left. Outside, Mr Oberling said, “I'm not seeing the car.”

It's over here.”

Oh, I'm used to the red one.”

Your license plate tells you it's your car.”

It does, I never noticed that.”

We drove to the Chevy dealer and saw they didn't have what I wanted. They offered to order it and I told them I'd wait. When they saw Mr Oberling, the guy said, “Mr Oberling, you're wanting another car?”

No, I'm with my new adopted grandson. He's out here getting a car.”

The man looked at me and I said, “That's ok, I'll go to Columbia and get it.”

No! I'll get it for you.”

I was needing it sooner rather than later. Until then, I'm driving Bud's car.”

You don't have a trade in?”

My car got totaled. My insurance man told me to tell you it's covered and I'm insured.”

What did you have before?”

It's pointless because I wanted a White Corvette Convertible with red interior.”

You're wanting to spend Grant's money to get it?”

Hang on a second. It's my money, but it won't be here. I'll go to Columbia.”

Bud came over and said, “What's the problem?”

The guy thinks I'm spending Grant's money. Yeah, Grant's name has to be on the car, but it's my insurance money from my car which is paying for it. He acts like he's the gatekeeper for Grant's bank account.”

I've never had a problem getting a car here.”

I'm sure you haven't. I won't have a problem getting a car here either. That's because I'm going to Columbia to get mine.”

We driving there today?” Bud asked

No, Grant and I can drive down tonight. When he sees I've got the money to spend and I'm shopping someplace which isn't his, then I bet you I get my car.”

I turned and said, “Bud, we need to get to the funeral home.”

Ok, but it'd be a lot easier if you called Grant.”

I'll tell him when we go take him to lunch. Maybe we can get him to take the rest of the day off to go to Columbia.”

He smiled, “Good.”

The man said, “There's no need to do that!”

I'm sorry, but you spent no money from me here and got too involved in Grant's. Rather than buying a car from you, I'll go elsewhere.

Now, Mr O, I'd like to leave.”

Ok, but let me use the phone if you're not. I'm half interested in seeing how fast Grant can get here myself.”

Ok, I'll be sitting out in the car.”

He picked up the phone and said, “I need to call Grant. Get me dialed to the station.”

I heard little else as I was already heading out the door.

When I got outside, my cell phone rang. “Hang on, I'm on my way.”

There's no need for that.”

Oh, but there is. I'll be there.”

He hung up and I put the phone down on the seat. I started the car and cranked on the Gaither Brothers. Mr O came out of the building smiling, he got in the car and turned down the stereo.

Son, you're about to see Grant in a full blown temper. You've got to see this.”

I didn't want to cause a problem.”

Oh bull, what's the use of having a son who owns half this town if you get treated like crap at a place he owns?”

We sat there and with the exception of the heat being on full blast, it was rather peaceful with the Gaithers at a normal decible.

I heard rather than saw Grant's arrival. The dust from the gravel shrouded his sliding to a stop.

He got out of his car and I sort of saw him

Jake, come on, we're going to get you a car.”

They don't have one.”

What is it you're wanting?”

White Vette Convertible with red interior. I need the one with the cheap insurance.”

Which one is that?”

The insurance man showed me, but I don't know.”

Then let's forget the price of insurance, it can't be that much.”

Nearly three thousand a year difference.”


That's why I want the cheap insurance version.”

You have no clue which one it is, right?”

I told him what I wanted and he showed me several models on his computer.”

I'll call him after I get through in here. Did you ask the man if he could find you one on their computer?”

He was more interested if I was spending your money than if I was spending my own. I told him twice, but he acted like he was a gatekeeper to your bank account.”

If you were spending my money, it'd not matter, nor would it be any of his business. His business is to sell you a car and he apparently lost you as a customer and me a customer down the highway. That's nearly six thousand dollars which almost went down the road.”

We went in and he said, “Find him a car and get him what he wants. I don't want to hear anything else except to tell me where it is and who needs to have that thing driven up here to get it to him TODAY.” he turned to me and said, “Jake, come in here and sit down, I've got to speak to my general manager about how you were treated.”

We went into an office and the guy there quickly attempted to get up.

Jack, this is Jake Martin. Get to know his name and his face because he's going to be your boss if anything happens to me. I'll tell you that right now, he's probably going to slam the doors shut on this place because of the way he got treated out there.”

What's going on?”

That man out there apparently didn't want to sell him a car. Apparently, the man was more interested if it was Jake's money paying for it, or mine. Jake has his own money because he totaled his last night. Had your man listened, he'd heard he needed to contact the insurance office and haggle it out. He didn't get that far because Jake was ready to go to Columbia to get that car. Now, how far do you think I would have ran his ass out of town when he arrived home with a name on the back of his car which wasn't one of my companies?”

Oh boy.”

Yeah, oh boy. So, what you see is me arriving here and salvaging a customer who is like my own son. How do you think that'd make this place look when he wouldn't even buy a car here?”

What sort of car do you want?”

A white Corvette convertible with red interior. The cheap insurance version.”

He smiled, “None of them are cheap.”

I know, but this one is three thousand cheaper a year than the others.”

Let me see what I can do.”

He picked up his phone and made a call. “Jake Martin said he was down there and you showed him insurance quotes on a vette convertible. Which one are you showing him that's so cheap?”

He listend and said, “Ok, I understand now. I'll get him in one today. Yeah, I'll have the paperwork for you in a moment. I've got to find him one.”

He hung up and said, “It's the standard version which isn't the high horsepower models they've got out.”

He looked on his computer and asked me a bunch of questions. When he was done, he said, “Ok, it's down in St. Peters. I'll get on the phone with them and get it sent up.”

Tell them I want it and whatever it takes, you get it to him today.”

The guy picked up the phone and dialed, he spoke to someone and a lot of numbers, inventory numbers, and the like got told. When he was sure they had it, he said, “We need it delivered up here today. This is a high priority and it doesn't matter what it takes, we need it.”

I smiled at Grant and he said, “How's everything else going?”

Considering someone stole all my stock certificates and is holding them ransom, fine. The insurance man is really nice.”

You been to the funeral home?”

No, I figured we'd go there after here.”

Why not there first?”

I wasn't done listening to the Gaither's.”

He smiled, “How bad was it?”

Not bad considering I thought I was at their concert sitting next to the speakers in August.”

Bud said, “It's October.”

Yeah, it is.”

Grant chuckled

Dad, Jake's saying you got the heat up too high in the car. He said it felt like August.”

Tell him to turn the thing down.”

He's being respectful.”

All he had to do was say it was too hot.”

I smiled, “We'll go for a ride in my convertible with the top down. You can run the heater wide open then.”

He chuckled, “Freeze me to death then, why don't you?”

He turned to Grant, “He's more laid back than Jeff.”

Jeff wasn't outgoing at first if you remember dad. He had to get used to you.”

That he did. Remember when I had him thinking we washed the Chinette plates and reused them?”

He actually thought that?”

Yeah son, your dad went over and stacked all of them at that picnic and was going to take them home. We had everyone laughing at him and them all using new plates for everything just to see if he'd save them. It cost us some money, but that was a fun day.”

I rolled my eyes, “So the heat was a joke?”

No, the stories of our car wrecks was.”

Grant laughed and said, “How many did he tell you before you caught on.”

Bud laughed, “He never caught on. He has to think I'm the worst driver on the planet.”

They laughed and Bud said, “I drug a grocery cart down the street listening to your mom sing Blessed Assurance and then, I pulled out of the garage and put a cat through the windshield with a telephone pole. Finally, I just gave up and told him he was driving me around.”

Grant laughed, “Jake, you've got to know my dad's sense of humor. He'll tell you jokes and have you being a part of them all the time.”

I got the one about the nursing home.”

Grant laughed and said, “That one's true. He decided to walk down the street and they chased him down and took him in. When they found out he wasn't one of theirs, he decided to play a joke back and tell them he wasn't leaving.”

We all laughed and Jack got off the phone. “The car is on it's way. It'll be leaving within the hour and be here in four hours.”

From St. Peters?”

They drive the speed limit Jake.”

Oh, I was wondering what way they were taking. The interstate is way faster than that.”

Grant smiled and said, “Not in a new car which has to be broken in.”

Why do they have that break in period anyway.”

They do it to be sure things are going to be right with the car. If you get it too hot, things will not be right with it later.”

You're giving a warranty on it, right?”

Jack said, “Three years or thirty six thousand miles.”

They gave me a better one down in Columbia.”

What'd you get down there?”

Four years and sixty thousand.”

I'll get that for you. You probably won't have it that long.”

I doubt it, my grandma had her 'vette for a long time.”

Who's your grandma?”

She was Rona Sherpa.”

Oh, that car of hers was a beaut.” Bud said, “Your grandpa bought that car out here brand new.”

It was nice, but the top leaked fierce. It was a sunshine car and that's it.”

What was wrong with it?”

They never put door handles on it and the top was terrible. If you didn't drive it with the top down, it leaked all sorts of air in.”


Grant said, “Dad, that was the first year of 'vette. They all did that.”

When did they make them better?” Bud asked.

Fifty five. When they put that V-8 in them, they decided to treat their customers better.”

I couldn't tell you. I had that old Hudson forever.”

Yeah, I remember.”

I stood up and said, “Jack, don't give the guy too much grief. He's probably out there having the big one thinking he's losing his job.”

Grant said, “Let him keep his job after you give him an hour or two grief of pumping gas out at the station. Let him think he can't work anywhere else unless it's there for me.”

Jack laughed, “Ok Grant.”

We went out and I didn't see the guy. I went out and got in the Cadillac. Grant came out and said, “Ride with me. I'll take you to the funeral home.”

Your dad.”

My dad can drive just fine. You're still believing his joke, aren't you?”

Yeah.” I said with a smile.

Bud came out and Grant said, “Dad, we're going to the funeral home. We'll be by to pick you up for lunch.”

I said, “I'm supposed to see if you still have the bucket of sudsy water out at the station by the ice machine.”

Bud laughed and pulled off. Grant rolled his eyes and said, “Yeah, we've got lots of sudsy water out there.”

Tell me that wasn't another joke.”

I'll have you count the windshield washing tubs out at the station and see if there's enough.”

Oh man. He got me so bad.”

Grant laughed, “That means he likes you.”

I'm glad. He's a nice guy.”

Your dad played jokes on his something terrible.”

What was the best one?”

You know all that stick candy?”


My dad had them alphabetized. Your dad kept coming in and alphabetizing them according to their colors. He had it down to where he could get them all switched around in like fifteen seconds. When my dad would come in, he'd see them out of order and go over and take a long time rearranging and counting them. He was sure whoever messed them up had taken some.

Finally, after like the second week of this happening once a day, dad lined everyone up and gave everyone a lecture about messing with his candy. Everyone looked at each other and swore they weren't the one doing it.

Just the same, dad made them all sit out on the curb and not go into the store. He thought he'd be slick and see which one did it by allowing them to come in one by one and see if they messed it up.

What your dad did was he would sneak in and be down under sight of the counter and when he saw dad was turned, he'd mess them up and sneak back out.

Dad would find them all messed up and swore it had to be a customer instead of one of the boys. He really racked his brain thinking of who all was in the store and who would have done it.

What's funny is I'd report to Jeff what dad was thinking and that's when we went into phase two of messing it up after each customer. By the time we were done, he was really pulling his hair out.”

Did he ever find out?”

Yeah, but how we finally let him know was we had my mom come in with the order your dad did it. Dad knew mom hadn't been in the store all those times, but she calmly went over and said, “Bud, these sticks are out of order.” He said, “No, they're in order” and she said, “They need to be in alphabetical order as to their color.”

I laughed.

Dad said, “Woman, I know it wasn't you.” and she said, “No, Jeff gave me this list as to how it should be done. He says you keep messing it up for him and he has to really work hard to put it back to being right.” That's when my dad knew he'd been had.”

We got to the funeral home and went in. Mr Vincent was nice and had us done in no time with all of grandma's envelopes. He used the photographs of her flowers and knew the proper names for the arrangements. He phoned the florist with the order and we'd killed two birds with one stone when I told him to tell them to request potted plants instead of cut flowers.

Afterwards, we drove to the house and picked up his parents. We went to Golden Corral for lunch and then out by the show me the buckets of sudsy water. While there, I went in and started arranging the stick candies.

Oh no you don't young man! I'm not having two of you do that to me!”

I said, “What's that mean? IF you do it by color, kids understand it better.”

Your dad pulled that on me for a long time. It goes Anise first and then Apple.”


Alphabetical by flavor.”

That's not right. If you do it by flavor, it's black first and then color. Kids will look at that and really think you don't want them to buy.”

They always get the oranges and rootbeer ones down here.” He said.

That's because that's all they can reach! Orange would sell anyways because it's an O. Rootbeer is brown and it goes up here. It puts the cherry and strawberry ones down here because they are red. Red starts with r.”

He shook his head and said, “Dag nabbit! Why is that suddenly making sense to me!”

I'm just trying to help sell more. You gotta think of the ones the kids want being down there where they are.”

He looked at Grant and said, “Leave it that way. I would've sold more if I'd kept it that way.”

Dad, the amount of time you spent rearranging that thing probably paid for that whole display. Did you ever think about that?”

No, but leave the cigarettes alphabetized.”

I looked at the inside of the place and the entire three walls were nothing but cigarettes. “Good, that'd take to long to rearrange anyways.”

Grant laughed and said, “Kids aren't going to be buying them.”

No, but if you put the ones women buy to the back, they'll pass the ones men buy and they'll get a carton for their husband while they're getting theirs.”

Grant looked at me and then at his dad. Bud gave me a look and said, “Let's get out of here. You're about to set this whole place on it's ear!”

Mrs Oberling smiled at me, “It made sense to me.”

Grant said, “I'll get it rearranged mom. It makes sense to everyone. That's why dad's so steamed.”

We went outside and I said, “If you put the yellow oil out there where people can see it, it'll catch their eyes better and make them more inclined to buy it.”

Grant said, “Yes dear.”

Mrs O laughed, “Jake, we need to get you out of here. Grant's about to blow a gasket.”

We got into the car and Grant hopped in. Before he put it into drive, Mr O said, “Son, if you're wasting your time on anyone else, you need to think about it and get it right.”

Dad, it's got to be this way.”

Who says?”

Jake needs a life and I need to have someone while he's gone.”

He's leaving and not coming home the whole time?”

Grant looked over at me and I said, “I was planning on it.” He then looked in the rear view mirror. “I'll think about it dad.”

I'm not trying to tell you to do anything, but it's clear you two love each other. I'm trying to save you more heart ache.”

I know and I appreciate it. I've got to think on it and talk with Jake. If we've found it's been a mistake, then we've got to make things right with those involved. He's got someone else and so do I?”

The car was silent. I put my hand over onto the cushion between the seats. He held it and softly caressed my palm. The sensation of him doing this was really driving me to distraction.

We pulled up at their house and got out. Mr and Mrs O gave us hugs and Grant told them we were going to go to Grandma's house to put things to right over there.

Mr O looked at us and said, “If you're putting things to right, you'll put things to right for both of you.”

I looked at Grant and he nodded. He turned to them and said, “We'll talk about it. I appreciate your concern, but I need to see what's on Jake's mind.”

Mr O nodded and said, “I hope you two make the right decision. I saw your heart tore to pieces once and don't want you to do it this time when it's clearly possible.”

We got in the car and drove over to grandma's.

When we went inside, he went into the kitchen and looked around. “They left everything except the knife.”

I need to mop the floor. They didn't mop it right.”

What's wrong with it?”

Grandma didn't mop this way. She loved this linoleum in the store but hated it on the floor because it showed every streak.”

I tried.”

You cleaned it?”



No one else was going to do it. I called to see if a service would do it and they said it'd be a whole lot per hour to do it with driving time from Columbia. Rather than spending two thousand dollars, I decided to come and do it.”

You should have waited on me.”

We need to clean the ceiling. I haven't done that yet.”

Get that spray bottle down there and some peroxide. It'll foam out the blood.”

You know how to clean up crime scenes?”

No, I know how to clean blood stains. You use peroxide. You can use vinegar, but it'd probably stain the ceiling with it being dried.”

I never wanted you to have to do this.”

Grant, it doesn't bother me. You're thinking this is going to affect my memory of my grandma. It doesn't. This is the way she died. This whole house is full of memory after memory of her alive. I'll remember those a lot more than this.”

He had tears in his eyes. “You're right. Why is it you say something and it makes so much sense?”

Because you over analyze it. You're too busy thinking it's going to be a problem for me. You think I'm going to go away and not look back. You fail to realize this house is here and my home is here. If you're here, I'm coming home.”

So you want this with me?”

I want it, but it's your decision too.”

How do I tell Roger?”

Tell him you can date and find him someone else, but you're thinking you've got someone already. Yes, he'll be disappointed, but if he sees he can find happiness with someone else, he'll find it.”

What about Jared?”

Jared and I are going to have problems even being friends. His dad is still going to be out there, so we need to think rationally about what's possible for him instead of what we want and can't have.”

So you'd want him if the world were perfect?”

If the world were perfect, you'd have my dad and I'd have Jared. It's not perfect, so we've got to make adjustments. You're my second choice and I know I most likely am yours. I'm not one bit unhappy the first love of your life was my dad, so don't think I'm unhappy with you being mine.”

You know this is wrong on a lot of levels.”

I know you're trying to over analyze and that's your brain speaking rather than your heart.”

Your right. Who are we going to find for Roger?”

I'd say Jack, but you don't want to go there.”

Why not?”

Roger works for Penny's service which is clearly the competition to your own service department. Jack wants to wear a wedding ring, but if he's not gay, then he needs to stop eyeballing crotches.”

He's not married. I think he wears the wedding ring to appear to be the family man at work.”


Some people will buy a car from someone they think is supporting a wife and kids at home.”

Tell me he said that and you don't actually believe it.”

You don't think that?”

Who the person is sleeping with rates really low on my list of priorities of the person I'm buying a car from. If I'm buying a car to feed a wife and kids at home, then I'm rather pathetic if I can't go up the street and just buy some groceries and give it to the man. It's a helluva lot cheaper.”

He smiled, “Ok, so maybe I'm trying to reinvent the light bulb.”

Don't. It's a whole lot easier to go to the store and buy one.”

You don't think about it?”

Inventing light bulbs?”


No. But I promise to think about that the second I'm aiming to throw that football for the game winning touch down. That ought to complicate things a bunch.”

He laughed. “I've got a question.”

I'll answer it, but let me say I thought sleeping in your arms last night was just totally amazing.”


You didn't think so?'

I was worried I was going to have a problem with my wood getting in the way.”

No, it seemed to fit where it wanted to go.”


You heard me. You got to sleep and it felt good going where it needed to go and once it got there, you gave a little moan.”

Oh man, that's embarrassing.”

What's embarrassing is you thinking your hand down there holding it back wasn't getting felt. I about told you to either move your knuckles up and down and jack the thing or let it be.”

His face was red.

I went over and hugged him, “Grant, promise me one thing.”

What's that?”

Inside this house, you'll not worry what everyone thinks. In here, you'll find haven and your heart can be released to find joy. You'll know love and laughter here and learn how to truly live instead of worrying what everyone else expects.”

Ok, but that's going to take time to adjust.”


This is your grandma's house!” he said in a near whisper.

Wrong, it's my house. Grandma lived here but she'd tell you it's now mine and to enjoy yourself instead of thinking she's looking around a corner somewhere.”

You don't feel strange?”

Listen, if you feel strange, we'll get another house and sell this one. What matters to me is you feel at home. The second I do that and the second you don't act like you're finding haven, I'm going to wonder if it's me, or if it's you. I'll tell you now, I'm not going to shut all the blinds and lock all the doors to feel at home with you.”

Is that what I'm doing?”

I fully expect if I went over there to kiss you, you'd look out the window to see if someone is looking in.”

You're right.”

If they are, let me know and I'll call the police because they're clearly the one violating our privacy instead of the other way around.”

You don't feel strange?”


Why not?”

Because all over this town, I know people are being themselves in their own homes. If we can't be ourselves here, then where can we be us ?”

What about your grandma's things in the other room?”

After the funeral, we'll go through them. I imagine I could do it now, but it'd look sort of bad handing everyone things at her visitation.”

Don't you dare!”

I'm not, but what you don't know is that's how my grandma was. If she were alive, she'd come up out of that casket and say, “Imagene, you go and get that orange shawl. That color looks good on you and that's the one you always liked. Take it because I've got no use for it anymore.”

So, you're saying you're not going to have a problem with that?”

No, should I? I mean, I think normal is getting rid of things I'm not going to use. Abnormal would be Norman Bates dressing up in the clothes and rocking in the chair.”

He looked at me and his eyes got big, “You really don't think about it in an sentimental way, do you?”

My sentiments aren't with things. They're with people. I find it weird you're looking at things and thinking I'm weird over them. People see me looking at photos of my parents dead in a car and they're thinking it's shocking, and yet, if I were looking at a photograph of them together at their wedding, they'd say that was sweet. It's a photo. That's it.”

Ok, I guess I'm over analyzing again.”

You're not the only one. The cops all lined up to tell me I wasn't supposed to have that evidence box. My question is why not? They're clearly not looking for their killer, so I've got to. Now, we're getting some people interested, but to be quite honest, I'm seeing them willing to run in and act like they were doing their job all along and take credit for what they've not been working on.”

It does seem that way.”

Roger has done more work for me in regards to it than anyone. Yes, you helped, but not one time did anyone else do anything.”

When this all comes down, make sure Roger gets credit.”

Oh, I plan on it. You're going to think your friend Mike is going to think I'm an asshole, but I clearly see him taking his sip of water to have that press conference about how the prosecuting attorney's office never gave up. When that happens, I'll blow him out of the water with what I've got to say at that same press conference. You best be aware of it.”

You think he'd do that?”

If he doesn't, I've read him wrong. IF that happens, I'll look at you and you best know I'm about to get up there and tell the truth. He's going to be pissed and by that time, I'm not going to care how he feels.”

Can I forewarn him so he knows not to go there?”

Yeah, but now, can I tell you something?”


You promise not to get on me too bad?”


Good, because I'm going to say something which really irked the hell out of me about you last night.”

What's that?”

How you spend your money is your own concern, but some day down the road, you're going to see me do something and you're going to really see me spend some money on my friends.

Last night, you tried to regroup your friends by putting them into an investment corporation. I commend you on the thought, but had I been asked my opinion on things, I would have told you to save your money.”

What's wrong with it?”

Do you want an actual honest answer to that? I could list it in so many ways it'd blow you out of the water.

First of all, they all went their separate ways for a reason. If you think money throws them back into the same row boat, that's a fool hardy idea.

Second of all, it went way overboard in that manner by putting their kids into the corporation. I know why you did it, but I spoke with my friend Chris today and told him we'd have to be nice to Robbie Musselman. I'll tell you I nearly lost a friend over it. Robbie as it turns out is an asshole rich kid. Now I've given my word I'd be nice, but I imagine he'll probably either grin and bear it by keeping in the money, or he'll think I won't vote his ass out the second he's mean to Chris Or whatever, but my friends didn't get included in that deal.

So, as part of this relationship with my own money, I'll hand Chris two million and tell him to go get himself some towers and show him I do care. He'll share with Jared who I know won't be allowed to be in it any other way, and we'll get them covered.”

Oh man.”

Chris will be able to get along with Aaron because he sort of halfway likes him. What you don't know is this. You guys got out of school and it's like birds all being released from a cage. Each one of you went off to a different limb and you're trying to entice them with money to even get back to the same tree.

The problem with that is we're looking at a relationship where I've been being treated badly by a bunch of rich snobs and the first thing Chris asked me when he heard you were in the picture was if I'd stop being his friend and start being one of them. I told him I'd have to be nice to them and he said he'd try too. He values me that much as a friend.

I'm not selling my soul for a dollar bill. Some others might, but I've got plenty to give my friends money and tell them to be their own people and I'll be in that tree with them. You might've given to the haves to keep them there, but in doing so, you definitely made it harder on those who've been with me through thick and thin.”

You're not liking that one bit.”

I understand why you did it. I might've done the same thing had Chris and I separated after graduation. What you don't know is each had their own reason for getting closer or being distant.”

So I messed up.”

Yes, but I seriously hope it helps you to be friends with them again. I'm just saying I think everyone changes and you're going to find out most likely that corporation is keeping you close to those who money matters above all else and not those you wanted to have in friendships anyways.”

So don't do it?”

I didn't say that at all. I think investing is great. I'm saying putting twelve people in a boat and thinking they're all going to row isn't likely to happen.”

What should I do?”

What you could have done without the money. You could've been honest and said, “Hey, I miss you guys and Jake and I are having a barbeque on Saturday. We'd like you to come and if you don't wanna, we'll miss you.' It certainly wouldn't have cost you so much money.”

So I acted like mister money bags and kind of blew it.”

I'm saying this...and you think about it and we'll see if your sentiments were where they should be.”


Form the corporation. Tell everyone you'd like one day a month to have get togethers. Hold them rain or shine, winter or summer, and see who shows. Keep the dividend checks on those days and have them come get them on those days. You'll get to see them and you tell those who want those checks you'd like to be repaid. If they pay, they pay and if they don't, after a year, you sort of tell them their friendship is now known for what it was.”

Man, that's going to be bad.”

Grant, having friends whom you have to pay to be friends sucks. Having friends who are haves in the community who don't stick together sucks...if you've got to pay them to be a friend.

What I'll tell you is'd probably would have gotten more loyalty from the people who show at your gym day in and day out being in that corporation than those who don't even speak to you annually.”

Man, I'm seeing this in a real different way than what I intended it.”

I know you wanted them to be there and I know you miss what you guys had, but leave memories in the past if they're not there now. Don't buy them by bringing them into the present and future.”

I need to put a stop to this.”

No, what you need to do is tell them the shares are a loan and you'll give them their share when it's repaid from the investment. Then, you give them that share and silently know you made their life better. THEN keep track of the person and see how many Christmas cards you get and how many actually say hello when they drive by that station. What you need to do is be yourself and don't rely on them changing to be what you wanted for a dollar bill.”

I'll do that.”

It's the best way to clean up the mess.”

Robbie is really an asshole?”

Chris says he is and Chris is someone who pretty much calls someone what they are.”

How long have you two been friends?”

Since we were like five or six. His parents will be over tonight, so be prepared.”


Because they raised he and I with Grandma. Grandma liked Chris up until a point, but then she really told him he put a sock in it and she wasn't going to let him get anything else over on her.”


He messed up her car.”

That's it?”

Hon, listen to me and you'll understand where she was at with the thinking.”


Now, lets say I take something you really have a lot of pride and joy in and I use it with your permission. Ok?”

Ok, use my gym.”

Good, I was going that direction, so I'll use it.

Now, say I invite Chris over and tell him it's ok to work out there.”


Now, let's say Chris comes in and upchucks all over something and leaves it there. I see it and we finish our set instead of cleaning it up right then.

In the meanwhile, you come in the door and see the mess.”


You're thinking to yourself I've disrespected you by my friend not treating your stuff like he would his own.”

I can see that.”

Where grandma got all bent out of shape was at Chris. Why she didn't do it with me is beyond me, but I sincerely thought it'd be better to get straight home and get it cleaned up with warm water and the cleaning things instead of stopping by a gas station and doing a half assed job.

The problem there is grandma leveled off at Chris and she didn't want him in her car ever again, and she didn't really like him riding in mine. He did, and it's never happened again.”

Did you try telling her she was wrong?”

I did, but I also learned to respect my elders and not to continually attempt to try telling her she was wrong about it. It put a damper on it, but there wasn't much I could do.”

If I ever get that way, please tell me I'm being grandma on it.”

Ok, but in the same instance, I'm not going to let things go. I'm going to do things immediately and then make it right so you always think nice of him. I see I let Chris down in that and it bugs me.”

What's he think about it?”

He and I sort of joked about it a lot. It was rather amusing to see how grandma would remind him he screwed up over and over.”

Oh man. So it became a laughing point at her expense.”

Yes, but just the same, we respected her just the same.”

Why'd she get rid of her 'vette?”

She was offered a great deal on it. We took it down to Columbia to go shopping for me a car and the guy down there offered me a car and her a car and more than another car in cash for it.”

That car was worth more.”

Value is what you put on an item. If you asked her what value she put on that car, she'd tell you she paid as much for that car as she did this house. When the man offered her more than what this house is worth, she thought she got him in the deal.

To be quite honest, you know my opinion on that car. Yeah, it was beautiful, but what good is a car if you put the top up and can't open the door? What good is it if you put the top up and get just as wet driving down the highway as you do with it down? If my 'vette does that to me, you best know I'll trade it in for a car which doesn't get me soaked and I can open the door.”

I understand.”

Look at it this way. How much was that car worth?”

Around a hundred and thirty thousand dollars.”

Ok. Let's forget it's a vintage 'vette and instead, it's a new one which costs that much. Would you buy one if it couldn't have the door opened without the top down or got you wet with the top up?”


Then you see how much it was really worth?”

I understand.”

I do too. That's why I don't see it worth that much. I'd probably not given you but a couple of thousand for the thing.”

But you're hoping your 'vette holds it's value like that one?”

I hope, but if it doesn't. I hope it stays as pretty for a long time.”

There's a lot of them worth a lot of money.”

Maybe we could invest in some. It'd be neat to take to car shows and do things together in them?”

I've told myself not to invest in cars.”


Because once I ever did, I'd want another and another and another until I had a huge warehouse full of the things and not have enough time to drive them.”

One or two would be nice.”

Yeah, but which ones?”

Which ones are worth a lot?”

They're all worth a lot.”

Ok, so let's look at what's new now and see if we want one.”

Why new?”

New is easier to keep nice and not have a lot of miles on it already.”

Ok, so with that said, I'd go with a Buick Grand National.”


It's got a 'vette motor in it and it's an awesome car. It's used and relatively rare.”

Ok, any others?”


Yeah, preferably.”

I don't know. That new Cadillac is going to be a collector's item because it's the last of the big bodied cars and that new SS Impala is going to be a collector's piece. For that matter, the SS pickup truck probably will be a collector's item.”

None of them are a 'vette?”

No, and I'll tell you why.

The 'vette is out priced. It used to be the poor man's dream roadster, but now, they've got all sorts of roadsters out there. That new Miata is going to be an awesome car and way cheaper.”

SO a 'vette's days are numbered?”

I don't know. I think it'll always be the flexing arm of Chevrolet to show they still produce muscle, but people just aren't going to afford them...not average people anyway.”

SO I just bought a car which probably isn't going to hold it's value and is overpriced.”


Ok, just the same, I'm going to drive it and have awesome fun in it.”

He smiled, “You're wanting an investment car like your grandma got, aren't you?”


Can I tell you what I would've gotten for that if I'd gotten one?”


The Accura NSX. It's a Corvette killer and it's totally awesome. No, it's not a convertible, but it's probably going to be a car which gets really wickedly expensive in future years.”


Right now, they're losing money on the ones they're making. Accura is building them to demonstrate they can build them to beat the other sports cars out there. It's like a poor man's Ferrari or Lamborghini.”

What's the insurance on one of those?”

I don't know, but it's not practical to drive daily.”

So it's like grandma's 'vette.”


Why is something which gets better in value impractical?”

I don't know.”

Before we get off topic, what three cars would you want to show if you had them?”

Where are you going with this?”

I'm thinking about us having fun. I'm looking at us becoming a part of a club or something where we can have car shows out at the gas station, or maybe the park. Something whole families can bring their kids and see cars cars cars.”

Three cars. That's a hard one. I'll tell you what a lot of people would say, but I'll tell you I wouldn't.”


A lot of people would say a '57 Chevy either hard top or convertible, a lot of people would say a '64 Mustang, and a lot of people would say a '69 Camaro. I'll tell you I wouldn't because too many people have them thinking they're all worth a lot of money.”

Ok, tell me three classic hot rods which are totally awesome which you think are just kick ass amazing cars.”

He thought for a moment and said, “I'm going there, but when I do, you're going to think it's funny funny funny.”

Ok, try me.”

The first one would be a '71 Hemi Cuda convertible. I'd prefer Lime Green, but if not, it'd be in a Blue. Number two would be a Roadrunner or a Daytona with the nose and the tail. The last car is one of the amphicars.”


It's a car they made which is so little and cute, it just looks like it'd be amazing fun. It's a car you can drive into the water and becomes a boat.”


Yeah, I heard they had problems with the seals on them, but it'd still be neat to think about.”

Those three.”

Yeah. Now, isn't it ironic two of them are Dodge's and the other isn't a Ford or a Chevy!”


Dodge made awesome muscle cars. They suck right now, but from what I see, you've cleaned up on their stock.”

Why'd you take my stock to the station?”

You didn't want a bank because you couldn't get to them at any time you wanted, so I put them there in that safe.”

Great, it might as well be a bank.”

Hon, here's your keys. I've color coded them and you now have keys to anything I've got.”


Because I want you to know what I've got is yours.”

What do you do with all these keys?”

This one is to the door over at the car wash. This one here is to the station. This one here is to the gym. That one is to the motel. This one is to the liquor store. That's to the laundrymat, that one is to the back office, and that one is to my room at the motel.”

Why not just one key?”

It costs a lot to get that done.”

Ok, but it's a lot simpler.”

I guess.”

I'm thankful, but one key to remember is way simpler than all these. The only one which matters to me is this yellow one which is to your room at the motel.”

I won't be there, so it shouldn't be on the ring.”

Where are you going to be?”


You going to sleep with me?”

If you'll have me.”

What if I want a physical portion of our relationship?”

Let's build it and then have it.”

Ok, so what's that mean?”

It means I'd love it, but I don't feel comfortable with it right now.”

Why not?”

Because intimacy is about sharing feelings. Fucking is about fucking and that's it. I'm growing feelings towards you, but I don't want you to fuck me or to fuck you. I want us to make love and I want us to be in love when we do it.”

We're building it, right?”


When will we know?”

We'll know when it's time.”

Ok, but there's parts of me that want you so bad right now.”

Me too. I think those parts are feeling the bond we're building and wanting it to be good. What they don't know is if we wait, it'll be not only good, but great when it happens.”

You're not just telling me to wait because I'm underage?”


Ok, so if it happens before I turn 18, we'll do it, right?”

Yes, but we've got to be completely confidential about it and I mean to everyone.”

Like I'm going to run around and tell people.”

I don't know. I'm worried about going to jail over this.”

Ok, we'll get it better.”

You're not worried about me being your dad's age?”

No, why?”

I've got a bit of a hang up about it.”


He smiled, “I do, I'll get over it, but I guess it's something we'll have to get used to.”

I need to speak with you about a few things.”


First of all, let's go to the living room.”

We went to the living room and sat on the sofa. He sat at one end and I sat at the other. We sat facing each other and I said, “This is going to sound bad, but I want to think about a few things in regards to this house.”

Ok, what?”

First of all, it's old. I'm not saying I want a new one, but I definitely want new windows. These windows leak air bad and that entire front wall shakes if you shut the door. I'm not saying slam the door, but if you shut the door, that window shakes as does that shelf in the corner. I guess what I'm saying is I like the house, but it needs a remodel. Do you want to do it with me?”

That's not a remodel, but a rebuild. When one whole wall is shaking, it means it's not good. Something isn't right with it. If we're going to do that, we'd get into spending just as much money to get another house built if it's all that way.”

That's what I'm afraid about. What I'm worried about isn't people seeing me live here is people seeing me suddenly blowing money.”

Hon, me living in a house this size is going to take some getting used to. You need to know I'm used to a space the size of about a third or a quarter of this.”

You don't like it?”

I didn't say that. What I'm saying is if we buy a house, I don't want a big house. I'm telling you to do what you want and I'll be there, but if you want to go to the motel, I'll be there with you too.”

I want your input on everything.”

I'll give it.”

I want us to have our own place. I guess what I'm saying is I don't want the motel.”

Why not?”

Because it's business. It's all too close. It's too easy to see someone out at the gas pumps and get out of bed and go pump it for them. It's too easy to hear someone pounding on a soda machine over at the car wash and want to go over and get them the soda out.”

But they'd damage the machine.”

A machine can be replaced. You getting up out of bed when we're into some passionate love making isn't likely going to make me feel secure. I'm not likely going to be replaced when I'm going out to my car while you're going to save a soda machine. You can shut off a soda machine, but when I'm shut off, I'm not going to turn back on.”

SO leave the business at business and home at home.”

I'm not saying I'm not going to be there. I'll most likely be there just as much as you, and I'll probably be dragging butt when we leave the gym, but I'd rather drive across town to our house than I would be to go to a motel room.”

I understand that. It's a separation of the two.”

Yeah. I mean, I love school, but I don't live there. I'm going to love being on a ball team, but I'm not wild about living there.”

Speaking of which, where would you like to play?”

Anywhere where they'll let me play and not bother me about being gay.”

What if that's in Florida or at out at Seattle?”

Or up in New York? Yeah, that's what I'm worried about. But, what I guess we need to study is how many off days they have and if I can fly home on those off days and how much time I'd have when I did come home.”

What if you can't?”

They better pay some pretty fancy money for me to think I've got to not come home...well, forget me saying that because I don't think I'd like that thought period.”

What about Kansas City?”

The Chiefs?”


Ok, I'm going to ask you something and you think about it. Ok?”


If I can, do you think we'd be able to afford a plane so I could get home faster than driving?”


Because it's still three to four hours away and work's eight hours a day no matter how you add it up. If I'm there for eight or ten, that means I'm here to sleep and that stinks. I'd rather think about flying and getting here fast and having that time with you.”

He nodded. “Ok, so what we need to do is figure out what that time is and have me schedule our time around that.”

Yeah. Now, what it could mean is this. What if they require I weight train there? Does that mean I've got to do it there and then come home and wait for you to get out of the gym?”

No, I'll give that time when you're home.”

Now, what I'm thinking is seeing if they'll allow you to come that direction. Would you do that?”

Fly over to fly home with you?”

Or fly over to weight train with me and then fly home. I mean, it's...forget it, that was dumb.”

No, I was getting what you're saying.”

No, it means you give up an hour flying there and just to spend time with me. But it means that jet has to fly to come get you and that's double the cost of fuel.”


See what I mean? I want you to have a full benefit of your time here and I want us to have a full benefit of our time together.”

It's not something we've got to decide now.”

Ok, now the next thing I've got to say is this. I promised Chris I'd get him a job at the station.”

Ok, tell him to come out and he can work when he wants.”

You're not thinking I'm overstepping my boundaries there?”

No. Just don't tell everyone they can.”

I won't. It's just that until he and I spoke this morning, I didn't realize my dad was one of the popular kids because all the popular guys work out there.”

They do?”

Yeah, you don't know that?”

No, but that's nice to know.”

We all see it as that way. Chris saw it that way and he instantly wanted a job there. It's like having an in ticket to popularity for him.”

You don't want to work out there?”

Not really.”

Why not?”

Look at my schedule. Before school, I've got tennis practice. Then I've got school. After school is football practice. Then, it's drive out and get you for supper. Then, we work out at the gym and then to bed. If I throw in a few hours working there a night, I'll give up time for us and that doesn't matter to me.

To be quite honest, I don't think I need the ticket to popularity. It's bad to say, but me being a starting quarterback and ace tennis player is bound to get me noticed.”

That's true.”

But what's bad is they're going to see me not dating and either think I'm stuck up, or gay.”

That's probably true.”

SO, the problem is this...” I paused and he put his hand on my knee.

What is it?”

I'm thinking about what I want.”


I thought for a minute about prom, but to be honest, I don't really think I want it. It might sound bad, but the idea of me going with someone who I don't really have a relationship with and doing it to be a part of it doesn't appeal. What I'd rather have is a romantic night someplace with you where we can dance and have our own. Does that make sense?”

It'd have to be either in Kansas City or St. Louis.”

Could we do that?”

Sure, but now what I want you to think about is Homecoming. You're most likely going to be voted homecoming king.”


I had a coach explain it to me and when he did, I suddenly saw it in a different light.”

Ok, well explain it to me because I'm seeing me having to go dance with a girl who doesn't mean a thing to me and not getting to spend it with someone I want to dance with.”

He smiled, “Thank you, but listen to this and I'll explain it.”


You're the quarterback. I was the quarterback. You're the one who everyone looks to because you ultimately make or break the team's success by your decisions.”


If you make good decisions, which I think you will, then you're popular as I was. If you're not, then you're not that popular, but you're still seen as a leader. What I'm saying is with more success on the field, the more popular you are because you're making everyone feel better about the team and that success generates good feelings throughout the school as a whole.”

Ok, so you're saying all the teams since I've been there have sucked because no one's been real ecstatic about anything.”

Probably because the past six years have had some really lousy teams.”

Was that offense or defense?”

To be quite honest, it was terrible quarterbacks. We have a guy there now who couldn't throw thirty yards to someone obviously open. He was open and the line was blocking and the poor guy out there was doing everything he could to get the man to notice him. He didn't, and instead, he ran the thing right into a man who got him to fumble the thing.”

How often does that happen?”

With him, it's been more often than not.”

Coach Williamson says I'm pro material. Do you think that's a fair statement?”

I think your potential is amazing. I think you combined with your offensive line is going to be absolutely incredible. I think the defensive line needs a bit of help, but they're good. I think if you get them points, they're not going to give them up, but they're not likely to get you field advantage. Just the same, with your arm, you don't really need that. You need some good runners who can get out there to have you throw to them and them to know to get open.”

You being there is going to be amazing. I want you to know that now.”

He smiled. “You think so?”

Let me say this and you'll see why. All the guys have their cheerleader girlfriends. Yay rah, they have their little bouncy flirty thing over cheering for them. But me, I've got the hunk over there showing his bod which apparently even gets straight guys wanting it.”


Chris. I told him about you and he made a comment about your bod and how he wishes he had it.”



And he's straight?”

Oh yeah, if you heard the perverted stuff he wants with a girl, you'd say he's hopelessly straight.”

You sure?”

Hon, listen to me. I told him he could work out at the gym and apparently, he's been there before. Do you know what his first thought was about with that gym?”


Getting freaky with someone and watching in the mirrors.”

That's cool.”

What's going to be funny is if he breaks his neck trying it at home.”

What's that mean?”

I told him he could do the same thing standing on the counter in the bathroom at his house. Knowing him, he's probably thinking about it all day long so he can climb up on the thing and jack off watching himself. He'll cum, and he'll fall, and he'll break his neck.”

Grant laughed, “Give the poor kid your key and tell him to do it in the gym after closing. Just be sure to tell him to lock up and clean off the mirror.”

I chuckled and said, “It's probably going to lose it's draw on him with that collar around his neck.”

We laughed and then grew quiet staring at each other. He leaned forward and I did too. We found each other's lips and the passion in the kiss was incredible. When we parted, he said, “Man, that was unexpected.”

It's us sharing time together. I can't give this up and we've got to build it together. Promise me we'll be like this more and more.”

I promise. I don't know how we're going to get it done, but I promise.”

Play Maker


Notes From Retta:

The emails telling me you love the story have been great. Yes, there are a few who don't love it because there's no sex, but until eternity happens, I doubt if there will EVER be a RettaMichaels story with real sex in it.

It's not about that for me, so don't read it if you need to whack off to something.

Thank you.

From My Keyboard To Your Heart,


Copyright Notice - Copyright © 2008 by RettaMichaels

The author, RettaMichaels copyrights this story and retains all rights. This work may not be edited, changed, or duplicated in any form, media [ known or unknown ], without the author's expressed permission. All applicable copyright laws apply. RettaMichaels does NOT give editorial consent in order for this to be published. If it is deemed unpublishable in it's context, permission much be granted before publication or changes occur.

Trademark Notice – 2008 by RettaMichaels

“From My Keyboard To Your Heart”,”'Retta”,“RettaMichaels”.“Retta”,“Rhett”, and “Rhette” are all Trademark of RettaVonnMichaels L.L.C. None of these trademarks may be used, or authorized without consent.

Disclaimer: All individuals depicted are fictional, and any resemblance to real persons, locations, or incidents is purely coincidental.